At this point, I shouldn’t have to remind anyone about the benefits of sleep. Medicine and science has been lecturing us about why it’s as important as water and oxygen. And yet many — even the healthiest, quinoa-committed among us — still ignore the many documented risks. Here are five reasons to get at least seven to eight hours a night.
You will look better
It’s scientifically proven that people who are well-rested are consistently judged by others to be more attractive. Studies show it affects your appearance and facial features in obvious ways. Among just a few of the sleep-deprived side effects: accelerates the aging of skin (thus you); wrinkles; paleness; drooping mouths.
You will function better
A lack of sleep impacts memory and cognitive performance. It also lowers productivity. As a researcher at Harvard recently demonstrated in a paper, “It might be the difference between a B+ and an A-.”
You will make better choices
After a sleepless night we are more likely to choose donuts instead of a healthier breakfast. And it just goes downhill from there. When we don’t get enough rest, fMRI scans show impaired activity in part of the brain that governs complex decision making and increased activity in the parts of the brain that respond to rewards.
You will be thinner
In addition to making poor food choices and feeling hungrier, insufficient sleep is associated with obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Sleep deprivation has been shown to raise the amount of ghrelin — the hunger hormone — in the blood. In fact, experts recommend sleep as a treatment for these disorders.
You will have better relationships
Tired people are more likely to lash out at their partner. Not getting enough rest compromises a couple’s ability to avoid and manage conflict. As the researchers caution, even one bad night can have an effect:
Even among relatively good sleepers, a poor night of sleep was associated with more conflict with their romantic partner the next day.
Your future depends on your dreams. So go to sleep.